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European Innovation Council

About the EIC Fund

Who we are
The venture arm of the European Innovation Council
Investment fund under private law with the European Commission as a shareholder.
What we do
We provide the investment component of the EIC Accelerator
Our targets are deep tech innovators that disrupt the markets they are entering, with mainly startups, SMEs and mid-caps being funded under the EIC Accelerator
Why we do this
Support deep tech breakthrough technologies in Europe
We are the risk taker bridging the funding gap and scaling up breakthrough European innovations while crowding in other investors.

What is the EIC Fund

The EIC Fund is the venture arm of the European Innovation Council (EIC). It was set up as a capital fund under private law with the European Commission as a shareholder to fund companies selected under the EIC Accelerator.

With a budget of over €10 billion, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is strengthening Europe’s leadership in deep tech innovation by generating a pipeline of startups with the potential to become unicorns.

The EIC Fund is bridging the funding gap for deep tech European startups that have market-creating potential but carry a high risk for private and public investors. The EIC Fund supports these companies with patient capital to minimize this risk.

EIC Fund main actors

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are the main investors. The EIC Fund Manager manages the EIC Fund

  • The EIC acts as an investment advisor
  • The external EIC Fund Manager is responsible for investment decisions and the EIC Fund portfolio
  • A «qualified investor» validates the market and technology prospects of the prospective investee company
  • «co-investors» invest alongside with the EIC Fund
Bridging the market failures

We support companies with market-creating potential that are a high risk for private and public investors, by:

  • Taking the risk-taker role to attract patient, private and public capital
  • Minimizing the risk for other investors
  • Generating a pipeline of potential unicorns
Budget EUR 10 billion

We are targeting minority ownership stakes (around 10% that can rise up to 25%)

  • EUR 0.5 million - EUR 15 million per company
  • Supporting investee companies in subsequent rounds of capital increase
  • Creating connections with specialized mentors, ecosystems and additional funding opportunities throughout the lifetime of the EIC investment
Looking for future unicorns

We are investing in market-creating companies throughout their lifecycle from early-stage research, to proof of concept and commercialisation, but usually in their early stages. The companies are:

  • Game-changing innovators
  • Accross all technologies and verticals
  • Single entities such as SMEs and small mid-caps (not consortia, universities, etc.)
  • From EU countries and countries associated to Horizon Europe
First page of the document
General publications5 May 2021
EIC Fund - Investment Guidelines

Document covering in full detail the investment conditions under the EIC Fund: Investment principles, investment strategy, scope of the investments as well as investment processes and scenarios.


Our structure

The EIC Fund is an alternative investment fund (AIF). Currently, the European Commission is the sole investor of the EIC Fund. In the future it is envisaged that the EIB will take over this role under a mandate agreement.  

  • The EIC Fund Board is vested with the broadest powers of the EIC Fund. The Board oversees the investment strategy.
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) acts as an investment advisor.  The investment decisions will follow a due diligence performed by the Bank.
  • The EIC Fund Manager is an external authority that manages the EIC Fund. It makes all the investment and divestment decisions on the selected companies. With support of the EIB, it manages the EIC portfolio of invested companies.
  • The EIC Fund Advisory Committee (AC) provides its comments and views on the cases to the investment advisor and EIC Fund Manager.
  • The Commission, via the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA), manages the grant support and the Business Acceleration Services. In particular it is responsible for: 
    • ensuring a single award decision;
    • performing a technology due diligence;
    • implementing the grant component;
    • ensuring coordination between grant and equity components, liaising with the AIFM and with the EIB;
    • providing business acceleration services, including operating a platform to find co-investors.

In the coming months, the EIB will replace the Commission as the investor of record (by means of an impact mandate agreement), completing the restructuring of the EIC Fund for Horizon Europe.

Our investment principles

The investment component of the EIC blended finance aims to act as a catalyst to crowd in other investors both public and private. We further share risks by building a large network of capital providers and strategic partners suitable for co-investments and follow on funding.

  • The EIC Fund’s main objective is “impact investment” rather than maximizing return on the investment.
  • The EIC Fund usually targets minority ownership stakes (around 10% that can rise up to 25%) and up to a blocking minority in cases identified by the European Commission as of strategic interest for the EU.
  • We always monitor investments and, in certain cases, support investee companies in subsequent rounds of capital increase.
  • The EIC Fund also creates connections with specialized mentors, ecosystems and additional funding opportunities throughout the lifetime of the EIC investment.

How to invest with us